He has a gun……

27 04 2012

Hello from what has been a very wet and dull Stoke-on-Trent ūüė¶

Here, for your perusal, are a few out of the norm questions that our legal team have dealt with recently.

QUESTION

A tenant in a rented property has got a gun licence to keep guns in a cabinet in the garage, the Landlord wants to know what his obligation is in this respect.

ANSWER

This is not the Landlord’s responsibility, the tenant is responsible for complying with the terms of the gun licence. However, it is suggested that the Landlord be consulted before the cabinet is fitted and it is agreed what will happen upon vacation of the property, whether the cabinet will be left or removed and reinstatement made.

QUESTION

A tree from a rented property is overhanging a neighbour’s property by about¬†8 ft.¬† The neighbour states that he has taken legal advice and that the Landlord is responsible. We understood that in this situation the adjoining owner could cut back the branches and place them back over the fence into the property.

ANSWER

Yes it is correct that the owner of the adjoining property can cut the overhanging branches and return then to your Landlord’s garden. However, it would be usual to give notice of this to the Landlord. Now that the issue has been raised, the Landlord should consider his general duty of care with regard to management of the property, which includes management of trees, particularly with regard to Health and Safety. If the neighbour or their property is damaged, it could be argued that the Landlord did not fulfil his duty of care. It is recommended that the Landlord take expert advice as to whether essential work is required to the tree.

QUESTION

A periodic inspection was done in the company of the Landlord. The tenant, a nurse, was also present. The tenant is a good tenant and has paid the rent on time; the property is kept in a very clean and tidy condition. However, the Landlord says that he had smelt marijuana in the bathroom. We did smell something, but felt if was similar to other air fresheners/perfumes that had been smelt in other properties. The Landlord wants us to do something about it.

ANSWER

You cannot take any action as you do not have the same opinion as the Landlord and no proof. All that can be done is to make a note of the Landlord’s suspicions on file and monitor things.

QUESTION

A tenant’s ex boyfriend has smashed in the PVC back door to the property causing ¬£200 worth of damage. The ex boyfriend was arrested and the court awarded ¬£100 compensation to the Landlord. Who is liable for the difference?

ANSWER

Sadly the Landlord is responsible for the difference although he does have the option of pursuing the tenant through court. The tenant cannot be held responsible as the damage was caused by someone not invited into her home.

QUESTION

The loft access to a property we manage has been damaged by the fire brigade as they used it to gain access to a neighbouring property which was on fire. The insurer for the neighbouring property had rejected our claim for repair to the loft access which will be approx £180.

ANSWER

Contact the fire brigade to see if there is a compensation fund for this circumstance. Otherwise the Landlord can claim form his own insurers, but he will have to consider whether the cost of £180 is worth claiming, bearing in mind any excess on the policy and the possibility of future premiums being affected by the claim.

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